SDCC 2019 Day Two: Exclusive Interview With ‘Cursed Child’s’ Nicholas Podany and Jon Steiger, ‘Wizard’s Unite’ and ‘The Dark Crystal’ News!


Day Two of San Diego Comic-Con was a brilliant flurry of fandom fun, and Leaky reporters Lauren Osborne and Sydney Dean were on-site to visit all the panels and booths of interest to the Potterdom.

With a full schedule planned and huge crowds, it’s possible they commandeered a time turner from the Ministry in order to bring Leaky followers their coverage. But, as they don’t let just anyone have a magical object of that magnitude, you’ll forgive them for keeping it under wraps.

Undercover as Muggles, and media passes in hand, they took the shuttle to the San Diego Convention Center along with other excited fans!

As promised Thursday, Jon Steiger, San Francisco’s Scorpius Malfoy, and Nicholas Podany, Broadway’s Albus Potter, were already there answering challenges–and wreaking some hilarious havoc! (Seriously, Weasley twins, anyone?)

And with no Marauder’s Map to guide them, Lauren and Sydney managed to track the mischievous and energetic duo down for an interview!

For starters, we wanted to know what Harry Potter character they think they are most like. (Here’s a hint: They went to the Yule Ball together!)

We also asked Steiger to speak about a positive lesson that Draco imparts to his son (don’t be so surprised), as well as whether he thinks about Scorpius’ relationship with his mother, Astoria.

And though both Steiger and Podany play Slytherins in Cursed Child, they rather ironically–or not so ironically–call another house home in real life. (You’ll have to watch to find out which!) Podany also spoke about the major theme of Cursed Child, knowing that you matter to someone and learning to express that care for someone else, and why his character’s struggle to understand the importance of it makes him love Albus so much.

One of the people Albus learns to appreciate and rely on is, of course, Scorpius. We wanted to know why Steiger and Podany think the two boys become such close friends. (It’s well established that opposites often balance each other out remarkably well, after all!)

Finally, we couldn’t leave the interview without asking Steiger about his own “Cinderella story,” going from an usher at the Lyric Theater to a cast member in his own right.

Following that magical conversation with our favorite stage Slytherins, we were caught off guard by the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite panel, moderated by Felicia Day, where cynicism toward the house remains high — despite the majority of panelists being Slytherin! (Not that that’s unusual…!)

Representatives went on to talk about the AR game’s concept and how it encourages fans to explore and engage with their communities.

They then surprised attendees with an announcement–in addition to all the magical creatures and characters currently featured, the game will soon debut a new fantastic beast. Premiering at the upcoming Wizards Unite Fan Festival over the weekend of Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, the level of play is about to heat up, and drawings to register for the exciting event are now live in-app!

Time Turner or no, we did not make it into the Dark Crystal panel, but we did hear that voice talent Taron Edgerton and Mark Hamill were there!

According to EW, Hamill stole the stage, slipping in and out of stories and impressions from his iconic repertoire of voiceover work. He called himself a “Muppet fanatic” and said the script was “just great writing.”

Edgerton chimed in, describing his first experience with original, which he viewed at the age of six or seven, saying: “My father showed me it, and I just thought it was enchanting and completely unlike anything else. I still feel that way about it.”

The crowd was then surprised with a screening of the full first episode of Age of Resistance, after which Hamill was presented with the 2019 Comic-Con Icon Award, given to “an individual or group who’s been instrumental in creating greater awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms.”

The 10-episode television series premieres Aug. 30 and features the voices of Harry Potter alums Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) and Toby Jones (Dobby). If you used up your stash of Felix Felicis to get into the panel, let us know your favorite part in the comments. We would love to hear some firsthand accounts from lucky Leaky followers!

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Our reporters Lauren and Sydney finished out the day chatting with some fabulous wizarding world cosplayers and meeting up with the Wizards Unite tour.

On Day Three, look for them to spend more time on the convention floor, apparating from booth to booth. We’ll also bring you news from the “Collecting Harry Potter” and “The Psychology of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” panels, so revisit all Leaky’s social media platforms through the day for the latest updates!



Scholastic Reveals ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Behind-The-Scenes Book!


Scholastic has revealed the cover art for upcoming book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey: Behind the Scenes of the Award- Winning Stage Production.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been an award winning, record-breaking, production since it’s premier in London’s Palace Theatre on 30th July 2016. Written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, the plot follows an adult Harry Potter, as he navigates life as a husband, Ministry of Magic employee and father of three school-aged children.

'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey: Behind The Scenes of the Award-Winning Stage Production' cover art

 

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The official press release describes the book in the following statement:

“With stunning photography, insightful interviews, and never-before-seen sketches, notes, and candid backstage photos, the book explores Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from the earliest phases of development with producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, to the crafting of the eighth Harry Potter story with J.K. Rowling, director John Tiffany, and playwright Jack Thorne, and ultimately to the gathering of an extraordinary team of artists and actors who, together, bring this new part of Harry Potter’s story to life.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues to cast a spell on audiences across the globe – London, New York and Melbourne; with San Francisco, Toronto, and Hamburg to follow in the coming months.

The show’s Magic and Illusions Designer, Jamie Harrison, and associate Chris Fisher will be at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, leading an interactive masterclass on how the magic works in the production. Throughout the weekend, the production’s booth (#3629 in the exhibit hall) will display exclusive content from the forthcoming book, a model of Christine Jones’s set and a costume worn by original Harry Potter, Jamie Parker – look out for our live coverage here, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Publishing on 5th November 2019, this beautiful, full-colour book will be available in print – through Scholastic – and eBook – by Pottermore Publishing and will make the perfect gift for Harry Potter and theatre fans alike.

Photo Credits: Manuel Harlan/© Harry Potter Theatrical Productions Ltd



EXCLUSIVE: New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Figurine Released By Hero Collector


Today at San Diego Comic Con, Hero Collector announced a brand new figurine added to its Wizarding World collection, and we’re excited to bring you the exclusive details!

During the New Toys, Statues & Action Figures with Entertainment Earth’s Adam Pawlus panel at SDCC today, Hero Collector revealed the brand new Niffler figurine — an adorable statue, complete with Galleons:

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On sale this October, the Niffler will stand at 132mm high (142mm with base), approximately 5.5 inches. The Hero Collector collection is officially licensed by Warner Bros..

The statue adds to their Wizarding World collection, comprising of Harry Potter characters Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Remus Lupin (Werewolf), Sirius Black, Bellatrix Lestrange, a Dementor, Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort, as well as Fantastic Beasts characters Queenie and Tina Goldstein, and Newt Scamander, young Albus Dumbledore, the Swooping Evil and now — the Niffler!

Let’s hope this means more magical creatures to come in future… The Niffler figurine will be available soon — so stay posted on the Hero Collector website.

 



Her Universe Debuts Potter-Inspired Dresses at San Diego Comic-Con!


Her Universe is known for franchise-themed collections tailor-made to the fandoms that follow them. With clothing inspired by Disney, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Marvel and more, it was only a matter of time before company head Ashley Eckstein took the leap–or rather, the Floo Network–into the wizarding world for some magical inspiration.

SYFY just announced that Eckstein has collaborated with designer and Potter fan Symantha Perrera on three new dresses which will debut online and at Booth #1321 at San Diego Comic Con, which opens tomorrow.

The dresses, which will have you ready for your next Yule Ball or Slug Club social, are based on costumes worn by three of the leading ladies in the film series–and they are Potter perfection!

With flowing layers that range from petal pink to rose and magenta, the first is a lovely take on Hermione’s iconic Yule Ball dress from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It features a bow at the natural waist and falls just below the knee. The effect is fun, feminine and flattering!

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The second dress is inspired by the shimmering celestial concoction worn by Luna Lovegood to the Slug Club Christmas Party in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s perfect for the girl who, like Luna, is confident in her own style. While Luna’s dress is more metallic, almost coppery, Eckstein and Perrera’s version is a lovely lavender in three layers.

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The final piece in the capsule collection is based on the Beauxbaton’s school uniform donned by Fleur Delacour in Goblet of Fire. The original is long-sleeved and below the knee, while the updated piece features a cape over bare arms and a skirt that hits at the mid thigh. It’s a fresh and flirty look that fans are bound to love!

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Each dress captures the essence of its counterpart while simplifying the lines, resulting in dresses that are remarkably wearable. Not just for cosplayers, they are destined for everyday use. And, as with other Her Universe collections, the dresses are available in standard and plus sizes!

Eckstein told SYFY:

“Designing a Her Universe collection inspired by the Harry Potter films has been a dream of mine for a very long time…While I consider myself a Harry Potter fan, my little sister Taylor is a massive fan and she’s been begging me to make these dresses for years. As a proud older sister, I’m super excited to share this collection and I’m beyond grateful to Warner Bros. for making our dream a reality. Taylor, this one is for you!”

The limited-edition dresses debut at $125, so don’t miss the chance to get one while supplies last! Remember to look for them at SDCC’s Booth #1321 and online.

Photos courtesy of Her Universe.



Theater Round-Up: J.K. Rowling Discusses San Francisco’s Magical Heritage, Evanna Lynch Talks ‘Games for Lovers’ and More!


We have some big news in the theater world this week! J.K. Rowling reunited with Cursed Child collaborators John Tiffany and Jack Thorne to discuss the production’s move to San Francisco–and the magical heritage it possesses. Harry Potter alum Evanna Lynch also sat down for an interview with costar Calum Callaghan and London Live to chat about her current play, Games for Lovers.

Imogen Heap is back in the news for her involvement in the activist group Music Declares Emergency, as well as for her endowment with an honorary Doctor of Music degree.

There’s a charming new video snippet from Cursed Child Melbourne that’s sure to up the fervor surrounding the play, especially with the release of new block of tickets coming TOMORROW.

And, finally, fans in the U.S. and UK have the chance to win a VIP ticket to Cursed Child London, New York or San Francisco, but the offer ends TODAY. Read on for all the details!

J.K. Rowling Talks San Francisco, Azkaban and Cursed Child

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With J.K. Rowling as creator of the Harry Potter story and the wizarding world, John Tiffany as director and Jack Thorne as playwright, the stage collaboration of this golden trio has been successful all over the world, from London to New York City to Melbourne–and soon, to San Francisco, Hamburg and Toronto.

While it would seem to be a given at this point that the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play will cast its spell over each new city it entertains, Rowling revealed a special connection to San Francisco which can only serve to heighten local fans’ enthusiasm for the production.

In a new interview with Rowling, Tiffany and Thorne promoting the advent of Cursed Child to the Curran Theater, Rowling divulged:

“(San Francisco) is a very distinctive, special place — I love the feel of it, I love the architecture. A big thing, and I think I’ve actually said this before, but Azkaban is a combination of Alcatraz and ‘Abbadon,’ which is an old word for hell. I squeezed those words together. The idea of the rock in the middle of the ocean was directly inspired by a visit to Alcatraz.”

The distinctive historical landmark is a fixture of the coastal landscape and a favorite of tourists. Having confirmation that it inspired the iconic wizarding prison in Rowling’s original series is sure to be a point of pride!

Tiffany added that the atmosphere of the city itself is enchanting in its own right, making it a perfect fit for the play. He observed:

“The Curran is an absolutely stunning, very old theater in San Francisco. It’s a city of magic. It’s got the trams, it’s got this beautiful bridge, it’s got the mist that constantly kind of hovers over the bay.

“There are some incredibly rooted diverse communities in San Francisco, very different to New York, very different to Melbourne. It will be interesting to … tell our story to those audiences.”

Preview performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begin Oct. 23 with the official opening set for Dec. 1, 2019. Visit the Harry Potter Play website here for ticket information, and watch the full video interview, courtesy of SFGate, below!

Evanna Lynch Talks Games for Lovers on London Live

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Last week, Leaky reported on the release of the first official image for Evanna Lynch’s Games for Lovers, which opened at The Vaults on Friday, July 12. Yesterday she appeared on London Live with costar Calum Callaghan to further promote the new play running through Aug. 25.

Callaghan plays a P.E. teacher, and not a very likeable one, according to the actor. His character is too immature to realize that he ought to be with Martha, played by Lynch. He eventually makes too many mistakes for it to work, and the potential for a relationship dissolves, moving past the point of redemption. It’s a case of missed opportunities and poor timing, a situation probably not unfamiliar to viewing audiences.

Martha, on the other hand, is a walking contradiction. Lynch says that though Martha can be quite confidant, when it comes to dating, she finds herself struggling with anxiety. She nurses multiple crushes, buoyed by an active imagination and inner fantasy world, but never acts upon her feelings for any of them. Lynch acknowledged that she finds Martha very relatable.

The play, which follows “four millennials looking for love” while finding “themselves caught up in a complex web of rivalry and seduction,” looks to be an entertaining and thought-provoking journey. Callaghan hopes his character learns from his mistakes. Perhaps viewers will find themselves taking both courage and wisdom from the experiences of these “lovers” as well.

Watch the full interview with Lynch and Callaghan below.

Imogen Heap Awarded Honorary Degree, Leads Music Declares Emergency

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Imogen Heap, who recently appeared on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, received an honorary doctorate from Berklee President Roger Brown in Valencia, Spain on Monday, July 8. Heap, the composer of Cursed Child’s innovative soundtrack, was also honored at a special commencement concert. Graduate students performed a medley of her music the Saturday before the ceremony.

According to Broadway World, Heap responded to the honor, commenting before the ceremony:

“I can’t tell you how much it means to be recognized and given this honorary degree. I really feel completely spoiled already as I get to do what I love, and I work on projects and songs with people I love every day. I really believe that if you can do that in life, you have succeeded on such a huge level.”

In her commencement address, she also offered the following humble advice:

“Always say yes more than no, even if you are not sure you can do it. Say yes because you are going to learn from it, and you might learn something you didn’t know about yourself…You can’t control every moment in every day and there is where magic comes from, it is the special moments and it is confidence in yourself. You just have to give yourselves permission to be you, to carry on, to be empowered.”

Heap takes her own advice seriously, carrying that confidence into her career and her activism. Digital Music News reported that Heap has joined hundreds of other artists and associations to form a UK music industry coalition. The group, named Music Declares Emergency, intends to draw attention to the issue of climate change and fight for a government response.

The coalition calls for change within the music industry as well, hoping to lead the way with an example of more ecologically-friendly business practices. They suggest modifications to the industry’s approach to touring, shipping and the use of vinyl.

Read more about the goals and plans of Music Declares Emergency on their official site here.

First Look at Cursed Child Melbourne and New Tickets Released

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Broadway World announced that the response in Melbourne has been so overwhelming, the current booking period for Cursed Child has been extended by eight weeks to meet demand!

The new block of tickets will be available to purchase at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 18 at HarryPotterThePlay.com. These tickets cover performances through Sunday, May 17, 2020.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, check out the first-look video of the Australian production from Broadway World below. If you weren’t already planning to log on for at ticket tomorrow, we wager you’ll strongly reconsider after viewing this spell-binding sneak peek!

Win VIP Trip to Cursed Child With Your Wizarding Passport

In one last bit of magical news, if you create your wizarding passport through the new wizarding world digital portal (linked above), you will be entered for the chance to win a VIP trip to a Cursed Child production in London, New York or San Francisco!

The offer ends TODAY–and applies only to residents of the UK and U.S.–so if you’re a fan from one of those regions and haven’t acquired your passport yet, there’s no time like the present. And, who knows, as the promo suggests, you might just get lucky!



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘Harry Potter’ Actor Christian Coulson Talks New Movie ‘Bite Me’ With Writer & Co-Star Naomi McDougall Jones

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We previously reported on the success of subversive romantic comedy Bite Me, currently on The Joyful Vampire Tour of America, and recently Leaky had the exclusive chance to interview the film’s writer and star, Naomi McDougall Jones, as well as co-star Christian Coulson, who you’ll recognise as Tom Riddle from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Christian Coulson plays expat IRS Agent, James, assigned to audit a vampire church.  Naomi McDougall Jones, the film’s writer and producer, stars as Sarah, part of this subculture of people identifying as vampires. As Sarah and James grow closer, the pair navigate the opinions of the outside world (and their friends, in Sarah’s case, fellow vampires), and a looming IRS ruling forcing the two to confront their feelings for each other. The film costars Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) and Annie Golden (Orange is the New Black), and is directed by Meredith Edwards.

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The film premiered at Cinequest, and won Best Feature Film at VTXIFF, and is currently on a national tour, changing the way independent films are distributed by bringing the film — as well as a full vampire ball —  to towns across America. The tour runs until August 6, so be sure to check if they’ll be passing through your town!

During our interview (below),  Naomi discusses the inspiration behind this movie, the reasons behind the Joyful Vampire Tour and accompanying docu-series shedding light on the filmmaking process, and even exclusively shares the title of her upcoming book with us, available to pre-order on Amazon now!

Christian also explains how he became involved in the movie, his thoughts on filmmaking and the impacts of virality and fame explored in Bite Me, and we all discuss a couple of nods to Harry Potter in the movie. Naomi’s a definite Harry Potter fan, so we also discussed Hogwarts houses and Patronuses, and Christian’s time on Harry Potter. Christian also threw some shade at Hufflepuffs — before we tell him his character in Bite Me IS a Hufflepuff!

Watch the interview below (trailer can be seen at the end of the interview), and find the movie on Seed & Spark, Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.

Many thanks to Naomi and Chrisitian for the interview!



Jim Kay Begins Drafting “Order of the Phoenix” Illustrated Edition!


Jim Kay has officially begun work on the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and that’s good news that would make even Madam Pince rejoice!

After previously announcing on his website Creepy Scrawlers Ltd. about the completion of his work on Goblet of Fire, Kay went on to inform readers that he aims to “try and make [Order of the Phoenix] a bit more ‘me’.” Promising to hopefully pursue more “expressive” visuals and a “darker direction,” Kay believes the fifth (and longest) book in the series is perhaps “a bleak story to match our bleak times.”

But never-minding that pesky dementor we like to refer to as “current events,” Kay has treated us to early glimpses of concept models for his Kreacher and Thestral illustrations on his Instagram @creepy_scrawlers. See below:

While Kay is off researching and traversing Great Dixter and Ightham Mote in the South of England, Hypable predicts that the Order of the Phoenix‘s release date “will be no earlier than Fall 2021.” This projection comes after citing how Goblet of Fire‘s release date, which is set for Oct. 8, 2019, falls two years after Prisoner of Azkaban‘s release–a skew from the previously anticipated yearly release cycle.

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Naturally, as the books in the series begin to grow in length and deepen in content, this means a greater responsibility for Kay and more work for him to tackle. But given Kay’s excellent track record for delivering utterly stunning artwork with the last four books, we can all afford to be patient.

So if this means Hypable is correct when they further assume “that [Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows] will be published in Fall 2023 and Fall 2025 respectively,” it’s a wait that’s worthwhile.

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Pre-orders for the illustrated edition of Goblet of Fire can now be placed on Bloomsbury’s official website or via Scholastic for all US-based orders. Leaky reported that a deluxe edition of the long-awaited version is available as well!

Don’t forget to also check out the illustrated editions of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Bloomsbury, Scholastic)–now available in paperback!–and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Bloomsbury, Scholastic). Leaky shared Bloomsbury’s sneak peek of Chris Riddell’s interior art last year–take a look, and you’ll definitely want to add this one to your collection.

And keep an eye out for the illustrated edition of Quidditch Through the Ages. The companion book from award-winning illustrator Emily Gravett is set to be released in October 2020. Start building that extra set of shelves now, Potter fans!



Fire at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden Set


A fire broke out at Leavesden Studios yesterday, July 10th. The studios, owned by Warner Bros., are where Harry Potter, Fantasitc Beasts, James Bond, Mission Impossible and many other blockbuster films were made, and just around the corner from the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter.

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Photo credit: Alamy

The fire service spent over 15 hours tackling the fire, after being called out at 23:29 BST on July 10th.

Thankfully, nobody was injured, and the set where the fire started was not being used at the time, however, the fire occurred on a sound stage being used for Avenue 5 – a HBO comedy by Armando Iannucci (The Thick Of It). A spokesperson for Warner Bros. thanked the firefighters for “working tirelessly throughout the night” to put out the blaze.

Houses in the area were alerted to the fire after seeing smoke at the studios, and remarked on the ‘strong smell’ of smoke. The fire was reportedly significant, with flames still being tackled long through the night and 18 crews being sent out by the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire didn’t reach the Warner Bros Studio Tour — the studio complex is huge, as you might have guessed, spanning 350,00 sq ft of sound stages, and over 100 acres of back lots — so rest assured all the props from the Wizarding World are safe and sound, and anybody booked on will not be deterred by the recent fire!

Regrettably, however, Avenue 5 will likely be set back by the incident, so our thoughts go out to the cast, crew and creatives of the show!

Read more at the BBC.



More Special Guests Announced For LeakyCon Dallas


LeakyCon Dallas is a month away, and just in time, we’ve got some new special guests to add to the list of attendees!

Scarlett Byrnes (Pansy Parkinson) and Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) will return to LeakyCon, James Payton (Frank Longbottom) and Jim Tavaré (Tom the Innkeeper) will also make their debut at LeakyCon this year – we can’t wait to welcome one of The Leaky Cauldron’s own!

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Guests will also be able to brush up on their duelling skills with Wand Choreographer, Paul Harris, who will return to LeakyCon to help make sure you’re all swish and flicking to perfection!

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We’re also excited to welcome back Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), who will no doubt have us all laughing in no time on his panels! Here he is announcing his appearance at LeakyCon Boston this October (that’s right, he’ll be at both!):

LeakyCon Dallas will be made even more magical with a brilliant lineup of Wizard Rock: Lauren Fairweather, Draco and the Malfoys and Tonks and the Aurors will all be there to celebrate, and Harry and the Potters will headline!

Join Potter fans for a weekend to remember at LeakyCon 9 3/4 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas from August 9-11 — tickets are still available! You can also book onto the tenth anniversary of LeakyCon, back where it all began in Boston, at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center from October 11-13!

Will you be joining us at LeakyCon 9 3/4 or LeakyCon 10 this year? We can’t wait to celebrate with everybody!



Theater Round-Up: ‘Cursed Child’s’ James Snyder Hosts First ‘Magic to Do’ Episode and Upcoming ‘Light in the Darkness’ for Lumos!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child dominates this week’s theater news as the casts from Broadway, London and Melbourne fill headlines once again.

James Snyder hosted his first episode of the Broadway.com vlog “Magic to Do,” while his Cursed Child costar Nicholas Podany appeared on #LiveatFive. Snyder picked up another hosting gig, emceeing the upcoming variety show “Light in the Darkness,” a Lumos charity event which will also feature the Broadway cast.

In London, the fourth year cast settled in after their May debut, and new production photos confirmed the magic is alive and well on the stage of the Palace Theatre. A couple continents away, the Melbourne cast is prepped to perform an exclusive montage for the Australian Helpmann Awards.

Neil Gaiman also announced that Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne adapted his comic book series The Sandman for Netflix. And in the only throwback to the original Harry Potter series this week, film alum Evanna Lynch returns to the stage in Games for Lovers at The Vault.

Read on for more details!

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Episode 1: “Magic to Do” with James Snyder

Last week, Leaky reported on Broadway.com’s new vlog featuring Cursed Child star James Snyder. Snyder, who fills the titular role of Harry Potter, will host the “Magic to Do” show every Thursday for eight weeks. Episode one aired on July 4, and it was quite an entertaining introduction!

Snyder took viewers into the WHAM (Wigs, Hair and Make-Up) room backstage, all the while maintaining a steady stream of banter as make-up artists applied his scars and wig. He also took the vlog into his dressing room, where he prepped for the evening show by donning his now-iconic costume, complete with blue vest, blue trousers, blue pocket square and blue tie. Oh, and of course, Harry’s round spectacles!

He also performed some “mediocre moments in magic” with Diane Davis (Ginny Weasley)–not to be confused with the magical stagecraft pulled off in the production–let’s just say the emphasis of this bit is Snyder’s wacky comedic showmanship, which pops up throughout the piece.

Snyder does introduce the play’s new Rose Granger-Weasley, Nadia Brown, toward the end, and the two have a delightful little chat!

The vlog clocks in at just under 10 minutes and is well worth watching. It definitely has us wondering what Snyder will do in the second episode, which comes out this Thursday, July 11.

Watch episode one below!

#LiveatFive with Nicholas Podany

James Snyder isn’t the only Cursed Child star to appear on a vlog this week–Nicholas Podany, Broadway’s newest Albus Potter, was the featured guest of Broadway.com’s #LiveatFive on Tuesday, July 2.

Podany revealed that he was a childhood fan of J.K. Rowling’s book series about the boy wizard who would be the Chosen One. He and his mother began Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when he was six and finished the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, after it came out. Podany was 11 at the time, and he remembers his mother making the offhand comment that he could play Albus someday–in a magical twist of serendipity, the remark turned prophetic.

He was a full-fledged Potterhead, and his immersive experience with the books set him up to pursue a career that would stay true to the course. Podany said:

“My mom would read to me the books, and she’s originally from England, so she would do all the accents. That’s how I started learning dialects and is what got me into acting. She was doing these stories and I wanted to do that, too. I wasn’t very good at sports and I had all this energy so my parents put me to acting.”

Podany took on a variety of roles as a young actor and eventually ended up at Juilliard. Though he admits he wasn’t keen on attending at first, the audition process won him over completely, and he came to love the school and its teachers, calling it “the best four years.”

Now he has the privilege of starring in one of the most successful productions ever, and as one of the most interesting characters currently on stage. And while others might have found taking on a well-mined role daunting, Podany has found a way to put his own spin on Albus Potter, observing:

“I found during the audition and rehearsal process that Albus is often depicted as an angsty, angry, upset guy. I started looking more into his Weasley roots, especially into Ginny, who’s one of my favorite characters. That’s his mom, and although they don’t have many interactions in the play, I think the silence between the two of them speaks miles more than the dialogue Harry and I have. Albus is an introvert born into an extroverted family. I love playing and learning more about him.”

We look forward to seeing him do just that, and as he will be starring in the play for awhile yet, he has ample time for it!

Watch Broadway.com’s #LiveatFive interview with Nicholas Podany below!

Cast to Perform at “Light in the Darkness”

The Broadway cast is set to perform at “Light in the Darkness: A Variety Show,” hosted by Cursed Child’s own James Snyder. The show, at the Birdland in New York City, will take place Monday, July 22 at 7 p.m.

All proceeds from the special production go to support J.K. Rowling’s Lumos Charity, so for ticket information, visit Birdland Jazz here!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London

First Look Images of Fourth West End Cast

The latest cast of Cursed Child London, the seat of the production’s first incarnation, is making a home on stage since officially taking up residence at the Palace Theatre on May 22. And though the play is now in year four of its run in the West End, Leaky reported that many of the year three cast members chose to stay on, making this a smaller changeover than some.

Thomas Aldridge (Ron Weasley), James Howard (Draco Malfoy), Jamie Ballard (Harry Potter), Susie Trayling (Ginny Potter) and Jonathan Case (Scorpius Malfoy) all elected to remain in their previous roles. So, of the primary cast, they welcomed just three new members: Michelle Gayle as Hermoine Granger-Weasley, Rayxia Ojo  as daughter Rose Granger-Weasley and Dominic Short as Albus Potter.

At the time, Playbill shared official cast photos of the actors in their wizarding attire, but now WhatsOnStage has released first-look images from the production itself! And while the set may be quite familiar to many of them, any time the cast changes, there are new dynamics in play, and it’s fantastic to see how well they all mesh in these magical pictures.

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Here Gayle appears to have stepped comfortably into Hermione’s shoes, shooting Harry a very pointed look. If you’ve seen the play, you probably know what she’s about to say–if you can’t already read it on her face!

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Short casts a sideways glance at his onstage father, exuding distance and resentment. His body language communicates palpable tension, leaning away with a sense of skepticism and reluctance. It’s amazing how much a still shot can convey!

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Ojo seems to be taking on the part of Rose well–you can see both her mother and her father in this picture. She’s commanding like Hermione, but with a hint of good humor like Ron. There’s a smile on her face in spite of what she may be leveling at Scorpius.

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Have you seen the fourth year cast yet, Potter fans? What did you think?! Is the show as enchanting as ever!?

To view the full gallery of images, visit WhatsOnStage here.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Melbourne

Cast to Perform at Australian Helpmann Awards

Harry-Potter-and-Cursed-Child-Australian-Cast-Photo-Ben-King Leaky recently reported that Cursed Child Melbourne had picked up numerous nominations for Australia’s annual Helpmann Awards, including some high profile nods.

With eight nominations, the play is up for the following: Best Costume Design (Katrina Lindsay), Best Lighting Design (Neil Austin), Best Original Score (Imogen Heap), Best Scenic Design (Christine Jones), Best Sound Design (Gareth Fry), Best Female Actor in a Play (Paula Arundell), Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (William McKenna) and Best Production of a Play.

Now it has been announced that the Australian cast will perform at the awards ceremony!

According to Broadway World, they will perform an exclusive montage on stage at the Princess Theatre, which will be shown at the Helpmann Awards through a live video feed on Monday, July 15.

Act I of the ceremony, an industry-only event, will take place on Sunday, July 14. The second act is a black-tie gala in which 22 awards, as well as the special JC Williamson award for outstanding contribution to the live performance industry, will be presented.

Fans can view the 2019 Helpmann Awards LIVE on ABC Comedy Channel at 8 p.m. on Monday, July 15. A repeat broadcast will be aired on ABC on Sunday, July 21 at 10 p.m.

First Photo for Evanna Lynch’s Games for Lovers

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Leaky previously reported on Evanna Lynch’s new summer production, Games for Lovers, at The Vaults, and based on the first image from Geraint Lewis (shown above), it looks to be a veritable treat! Broadway World describes the plot as follows:

“Four millennials looking for sex, love and a well-located flat find themselves caught in a complex game of rivalry, desire and seduction. As the cost of happiness soars, how can they negotiate the new rules of modern relationships and win the game of love?”

And in a twist on that theme, the front row will feature double-seat sofas–“Love Seats”–for viewers to heighten the experience and add to the atmosphere!

Games for Lovers opens July 12 and runs through Aug. 25.

Jack Thorne to Adapt Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman

the-sandman-netflix-hara-una-serie-con-el-comic-de-culto-creado-por-neil-gaiman-main-1562005475 Neil Gaiman’s popular comic book serial The Sandman is set to become a Netflix series following the character Morpheus, the Dream King. According to the Mirror, the intricate and “sprawling nature” of the story made it better suited to the format of an ongoing series rather than attempting to adapt it as a feature film, which would surely short shift Gaiman’s rich characters and narrative.

Gaiman will serve as executive producer but will not pen the script himself, contrary to other reports. He took to Twitter to confirm that Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne did the honors. 

Other than this exciting news, not much else is known. No casting details have been released, and no premiere date has been set.